BY: John Mamola

A five run offensive attack by the Boston Red Sox on a tired Rays bullpen in the sixth inning was the key as Boston takes the opener of a three game series against the Tampa Bay Rays 7-4.  The Rays have now dropped six of their last seven games including four of the first five games on their current ten game road trip.

Former Red Sox pitcher and current Rays starter Erik Bedard was looking to nab his first win of the season and go deep into the game for the Rays.  Bedard showed improvement over his last start where he allowed four runs in four innings of work against the Minnesota Twins.  Bedard showed improvement this game holding the Red Sox offense to a single run on a Shane Victorino sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth.

The Rays answered back in the top half of the sixth to tie the game at one on a Evan Longoria sacrifice fly.  However the Rays bullpen struggled once again as the Red Sox tallied five runs on Rays’ relievers Brandon Gomes and Juan Carlos Oviedo.

AJ Pierzynski started things off for Boston giving the Red Sox a 2-1 lead as Boston batted around in the frame on 46 total pitches from two Rays pitchers.  Will Middlebrooks, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Shane Victorio all with RBI doubles and the Red Sox broke it open at 6-1 through six innings. 

The Rays lone tally in the later innings came on a Ryan Hanigan RBI double off the “green monster” in left, but the Rays couldn’t overcome a large offensive inning for Boston. 

David Ortiz added an RBI single in the eighth inning to make it a 7-4 win for Boston as John Lackey gets the win going eight innings allowing two runs on six hits.  Shane Victorino finished the night a perfect 4 for 4 with two RBI.

The Rays will look to rebound tomorrow night in Boston as Chris Arhcer takes the mound for the Rays against Felix Doubront for Boston.  Catch all the action on WDAE beginning at 6:30pm with the pre-game, and a 7:10pm first pitch.